BOB ABERNETHY, host: Welcome. I’m Bob Abernethy and this is our annual look back at the top religion and ethics news of the year. Religion & Ethics managing editor Kim Lawton is here, and so are Kevin Eckstrom, editor-in-chief of Religion News Service, and E.J. Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, professor at Georgetown University, and columnist for The Washington Post. Welcome to you all. Kim has put together a short video reminder of what happened in 2012.
KIM LAWTON: A wave of mass shootings renewed age-old theological discussions about evil, suffering and tragedy. Especially after the massacre at the Connecticut elementary school, many religious leaders repeated calls for stricter gun control measures. Some called it a pro-life issue. One of the mass shootings took place in a house of worship. In August, six people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Once again, religion played an important role in the presidential election. For the first time ever, there were no white Protestants on either ticket. Although there wasn’t a lot of God-talk from President Obama or Mitt Romney, grassroots religious groups were active on both sides. Evangelical voters were divided during the primary season, but in the end they rallied around Romney, despite some concerns about voting for a Mormon candidate. Still, their support didn’t put him over the top. Obama narrowly won the Catholic vote, thanks to a strong showing among Latino Catholics.
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